Meeting Up With Old Friends From Istanbul

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
With Our Friend Graeme

Flag of New Zealand  , Hawke's Bay,
Sunday, June 5, 2011

The alarm which went off at 7am was unnecessary as a cockerel had been shouting its head off for a good half hour anyway. It was still dark and only the thought of the Macdonald's breakfast we’d promised ourselves got us up and out of there. The excuse for a Maccy D breakie was using the free wifi, but although that wasn’t working, it was still well worth it. Egg Mcmuffins, BLT bagels, chocolate muffins and lattes were excellent fuel when facing an 80 mile day. After yesterday’s steady drizzle, a brilliant blue sky was very welcome, but unfortunately it was accompanied by rolling hills for the first 15 miles. By the time we reached Norsewood, we were pretty concerned that we were not going to make the distance before dark. A headwind wasn’t helping either. Luckily, the hills eased up, and we started to make more progress after our first stop. We saw that there were two routes into Napier and took the one which followed a railway line, assuming it would be flatter.

As usual when facing a long day, Mikey organised our rest stops with military precision. One every 10 miles, and 25 minutes for lunch would mean we would get there for 5. To save time, we’d made an enormous packed lunch the night before and so had sandwiches at 3 different stops. It was a day for feathered interactions and some very cheeky chickens tried to make off with our ham and cheese rolls at Lunch #1 and sparrows and other cheeky little things nibbled at our apples at lunch #2.

By lunch #3 we still had 30 miles to go and Mikey was exhausted from battling the headwind. Tucked in behind him, I could quite happily coast along at 10mph, but every turn of the pedals was a struggle for him – my hero. Anyway, excitement about meeting up with our friend Graeme, and sleeping in a proper bed kept us going, and by 4pm we hit the coast and could see the town in the distance.

It was a lovely ride in on a cycle path along Marine Drive and round the coast to the peaceful part of town where the Dickeys live. Had we not been so exhausted we would certainly have been admiring the town and views, but there will be plenty of time for that tomorrow on a day off.

It was fabulous to see Graeme again, and heaven to dump the bikes in his immaculate garage and settle down for a G&T and catch-up in his beautiful home. He treated us to scrumptious roast beef with all the trimmings and even made us flambéed banana for pudding. Only the fact that our eyes started drooping by 8 reminded us of the day’s exertions and we staggered up to our lovely room, looking forward to exploring the 'Art Deco’ Town tomorrow.

Miles Cycled:  82 very long miles but the Roast Beef waiting in Napier was worth every inch
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